India could become carbon-neutral ahead of its promised goal of 2070, the director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said.
Francesco La Camera said India was focusing on decarbonising its steel sector and developing offshore wind power, reflecting a “very serious” commitment to meeting the challenges.
La Camera said India was also “on track” to reach its 2030 commitment to produce 50% of its energy from non-fossil fuels.
Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has raised India’s national target of non-fossil energy capacity to 500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, from just over 151 GW currently.
India’s onshore wind capacity stands at over 40 GW, and for grid-connected or centralised solar power plants capacity is at around 60 GW.
India is already exploring pilot projects in offshore wind power, but the technology is still expensive, said Vaibhav Chaturvedi, a fellow at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) think tank.
La Camera said the government expects green hydrogen – made from water and clean electricity – to power sectors, like steel, that find it hard to abate CO2 emissions.
He also emphasised the need to set up “standards and certification” as India begins exporting green hydrogen with conglomerates Reliance Industries and Adani Enterprises, along with state-run energy firms NTPC and Indian Oil Corporation setting out manufacturing plans.
India plans to manufacture 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030 to meet its climate targets and become a global production and export hub for the fuel.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell